Stat Line Of The Night — 4/22/12 — Claude Giroux
Game Six between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins was a crucial one, as a win by the Penguins would draw them even with the Flyers and force a Game Seven after falling behind 3-0. Claude Giroux didn’t want to see that happen, and he made that quite obvious during his first shift of the game.
According to Flyers’ head coach Peter Laviolette, Giroux approached him prior to yesterday’s game and said, “I don’t know who you plan on starting tonight, but I want that first shift.” Laviolette gave his All-Star center that first shift and Giroux made the most of it, setting the tone with a bone-crushing hit on Sidney Crosby before sending a wrist shot past Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the first goal of the game. That was just the start for Giroux and the Flyers, as he would add assists on the following two goals during Philadelphia’s 5-1 series-clinching victory.
During his post-game press conference, Laviolette refereed to Giroux as “the best player in the world.” He has certainly played that way during the playoffs thus far, as his six goals, eight assists, 14 points and plus-six rating are all good enough for first in the league. And he shouldn’t have any problems adding to those totals, as his performance yesterday afternoon has his team moving on to the second round, and it also earned him “The Stat Line of the Night” for Sunday, April 22, 2012.